Here is my great grandfather's description; it doesn't quite match, but it is clearly the same crest. He was describing the crest from memory and did not have it in front of him. It has the same distinctive wolf sitting in a mural coronet, which I'm told is routinely mistaken for a castle, and he had mistaken the wolf for a boar. The crest has the same spear head sticking out of the top which my great grandfather quixotically described as "surmounted by a spike". The spear and the mural coronet with the wolf's head coming out of it are seen on only one Lowe crest. The only thing missing is a barber pole like graphic, which is a feature of many Lowe crests. Most Lowe crests are demi-griffins; the wolf head is normally a feature on the coat of arms. His own crest may have been as small as my fourth cousin's stationary embosser, which was only a half inch across. Above are two images of her steelcut stationary embosser, turned around and cleaned up by me to resemble what the image would look like, and several of my efforts to photograph the tiny half inch across embossed crest that she had made on a piece of stationary and sent to me.
"The brass with the impression of the Lowe crest and motto was most unfortunately mislid but is easily replaced and will be as soon as I can come across the impression which is somewhere among my papers. It is simply a boar's head surmounted by a spike (the head faced to the left, the tongue protruding like a dart). The squire's base in in the usual barber pole line and the motto is "spero meliori" which in liberal interpretation is "We hope for better."
"In describing the crest I forgot to include the fact that the Boar's head surmounted a castle, which was evidence of knighthood in the family. However it is so far back that one does not worry about it."
*** Beds, Middx, and Herts, out of a mural coronet, gu., a wolf's head, ar., transfixed with a spear, or, pointed of the second. pl. 12, n. 11. This is Nathaniel's crest. (From below)
However, the crest, with minor differences, is that of Lowe of St. Alban's, from the Harleian Society's Visitation of Hertfordshire, 1634.
Fro The Book of Family Crests, Their Source and Significance, pub 1882. This is not an official source, and crests in it may not have been officially granted to anyone. Shops that made cheap crests to sell to people would have books like this one. This book has no references, so no idea where they got it. The web site where this was didn't have the plates and notes, and neither did any of the three older editions in Google Books. It is probably Reeves and Turner, book of Family Crests, 1882, at UT Libraries.
Guillin, John, Display of Heraldry? UT Austin. Argent, on a bend Azure, three wolves heads erased of the First, was the coat of Reynes Lowe of ___ Co Bucks (w crescent for a Difference). Thomas Lowe ___ to Lowe. MS in Ahm. Num. 834 p 16. This Coat confirmed to Humfrey Lowe of Southmills in the parish Blenham in Co of Bedford, Esq, by Sir Wm Segar, Charter, 28th Jul 1628. Her. Off. Hartf. & Middlesex, C. 28 fo 7 3d in dex.
So in other words, it was a real family crest, but not our family. Lowe family IN Westmeath, Moate area, does claim co-descent from Normans granted land in the time fo William the Conqueror, Worcestershire, with the aristocratic family, which doesn't give them the right to a coat of arms granted distant relatives in the time of Queen Elizabeth. I don't think any of the Worcestershire Lowe's were Norman; they were Saxon. Those of Bewdley and Kiddermisnter were yeomen. But in any case their family crest has never been that of the family of Middlesex and Bucks. Their crest was most often, when they had a crest, as they often had only a coat of arms; an entire griffin, passant.
In the above descriptions, erased refers to the heads, and of the First, of the second, etc., refers to the first or second color named. Armed, pointed or headed of the second, are all references to the color of the point of the spear, which was that of the wolf's head.
Nathaniel's bucket shop crests represent the spear point all wrong. As common sense suggests, the spear should pierce the neck. Not stand grandly on top of the animal, pointing upwards. Fairbairn's Book of Crests doesn't give color plates. It gives black and white plates, and oneo f these shows a wolf's head out of a mural coronet. On the same page, however, are two sketches of a wolf's head with the neck transfixed by an arrow or spear. It is clear that the spear goes into the animal's neck and comes out of the animal's neck; which direction may not matter. I show how both arrows/ spears were positioned below.
ARMS - Argent, on a bend Azure three wolves' ehads erased of the field.
CREST. - Out of a mural coronet Gules, a wolf's head perced through the neck with a broken spear OR, armed of the second.
A confirmation of this coat and grant of this crest to Humfrey Lowe of South Mills in the parish of Blunham in com. Bedford, Esqr, by Sir Will'm Segar, Kt., Garter, the 28 July 1628.
It traces his ancestry - sort of.
William Lowe of .. co. Lancaster. father of
John Lowe of St. Alban's, Co Hertfordshire, married Ellin, da of William Pointer of co Salop. parents of
Humfrey Lowe of St. Alban's, co. Hertfordshire, and of Blunham, co Bedfordshire, married Sarah, daughter of Christopher Borough of Wix Abbey, co Suffolk.
They had Francis Lowe, son and heir, John Low, Humfrey, Thomas, Christopher, Sarah, and Dorothye.
This family does not look related to the Worcestershire Lowe family, though I have their distant pedigree on order. I think that Hertfordshire and Salop, maybe, but not Lancashire or Suffolk.
Lowe of Bromsgrove has the three wolves heads erased of the field, but on a bend sinister, cotized. And the crest is a demi-griffin, entire animal. It does face left with its tongue sticking out, like the wolf's head on the Bedfordshire crest.
Fairbairn's Book of Crests, Book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, at UT Library. Lowe of Southmills, Bed, Middx and Herts. Out of a mural coronet gu, a wolf's head arg, transfixed by a spear, or, headed of the second.
Top left is a generic Lowe coat of arms from the web, but it is consistent with some descriptions. However, it's the wrong colors. The additional decoration added doesn't go with any actual Lowe coat of arms. This is the generic Lowe coat of arms for sale on the Internet.
The upper right and lower left are two "Irish" coats of arms that are described as more Anglo-Irish. The animals on the Irish coats of arms are wolves' heads. Though they look identical to Celtic tigers. One can see the resemblance to Bromsgrove Lowe wolves. This could be because tigers were modelled after wolves because noone knew what tigers looked like.
The lower right coat of arms is Lowe of Bromsgrove, one of two related lines of Worcestershire gentry, from one of the Burkes references. But it appears to mistakenly replicate the sinister bend (backwards band), which, after long family histories of the Bromgrove and Lindrige Lowe families, is in the quartered and hybrid Lowe-Hill arms, which is the only arms it presents. This happens in both the Genealogic and Heraldic History of the Commons of Great Britain, and the Genealogcial and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Britain. But the coats of arms of all of the Worcestershire Lowes who had bends in their coats of arms, were bends, not sinister bends.
There's also these, both used by some of the Worcestershire Lowe family. Second one was also silver wolves on a red background.
From Teh Heraldry of Worcestershire. Lowe of Bromsgrove. branch of Lowes of the Lowe.
Or, on a bend cottised sable three lions erased of the field.
Crest: A demi-griffin segreant or.
These bearings were granted to teh family, by Bysshe, on the 8th of February 1657; but according to Burke (Commoners, iv., 39), they now bear the bend and cottisses sinister charged with three wolf's heads, on a field argent. The motto now used is "Spero meliora".
(Found in Visitation of Worcestershire, 1569, at Google Books, only this. Harl. 1566, fo. 195. Lowe of Bromsgrove in Com. Worcester. by Sr Ed. Bish ye 8th day of February 1657. ARMS. - Or, on a bend cottised sable three lions' (sic) heads erased of the field. This Coate before ws borne argent and sable. CREST. - A demi-griffin segreant or. (The whole animal facing left with its tongue sticking out.) There's a transcription error of a date there.))
Lowe of Lindridge, a junior branch of above family.
Lowe of The Lowe, Lindridge. Gules, two wolves passant argent.
Crest: An ermine proper, collared, lined, and ringed gules.
Tehse bearings were allowed to a junior branch of teh family, at the Visitation of London, in 1633-4. The ancient coat of Lowe, as quartered by Pennel, was a single wolf passant on a field gules.
From The General Armory of England, Scotland and Ireland and Wales, Bernard Burke.
Lowe (Lowe, co Worcester; Thomas Lowe, Esq. of Lowe, was chief of his family temp. Queen Elizabeth.
Or, on a bend cotised sa. three wolves' heads erased of the field. Crest - a demi griffin ramp. or. Motto - spero meliora.
Oldest coat of arms on record. Thomas Lowe of America. A shield (gules), and two wolves passant (argent), no crest or motto. In using this coat of arms, have it black lines only; do not use the colors gules and argent. Do not use a crest or motto.
Next oldest coat of arms is A shield, three wolves heads,
Display of Heraldry by John Guillim, Pursivant of Arms, London, 1744, p 192. He beareth gules two wolves passant - argent - by the name of Lowe.
Visitation of London, 1633, 1634, 1635, vol II. Same coat of arms. Thomas Low of the Lows of Worcestershire m Anne Foster. Pedigree from 1500 to 1634. (image below but no description provided in Visitation of London.) Son Humphrey father of Thomas Low of the Low, Arthur Low of London, Anthony Low of the inner temple (lawyer?), Arthur Low only son and heir apparent.
*** Crest a demi-griffen, rampant. Motto, Spero Meliora. This is the earliest motto found, time of Elizabeth, and the above belonged to teh Worcestershire family, one of the branches.
The next coat of arms: A wolf passant, on shield. (think that's the one illustrating a passant wolf below)
The above coats of arms all belonged to the same family Low or Lowe, and they used different crests, but I found only the above motto. All of the Low-Lowe have teh wolf in some form in all branches.
Something about "Roll of Arms", time of Edward I. Nichole de Low had the same coat of arms.
Lowe (George Lowe, Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Ireland: Fun. Ent. Ulster's Office, of his wife, d. 16 Nov. 1623). Ar. on a bend az. three griffins' heads erased of the field, an annulet for diff.
Lowe of Bromsgrove in Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain, John Burke, and Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Britain, Bernard Burke. Same information. First is for Rev. Thomas Hill Peregrine Furye, a product of the Lowe-Hill union. First depicts the above image of the three erased wolves heads on a cotised bend.. However, after lengthy family histories of the Lowes of Lindridge and Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, the only coat of arms given is for the union of the Lowe and Hill families.
Arms - Quarterly, 1st and 4th argent, on a bend sinister cotised sable three wolves' heads erased for Lowe, of Bromsgrove; 2nd and 3rd erm. on a fesse sa. a castle, triple towered arg, for Hll, of Court of Hill.
Crest A demi griffin ramp. or.
Motto - Spero meliora
Lowe, Salop, and Wilts., an ermine passant, ppr., (collared, or, lined and ringsed, gu) pl. 34, n 27.
*** Beds, Middx, and Herts, out of a mural coronet, gu., a wolf's head, ar., transfixed with a spear, or, pointed of the second. pl. 12, n. 11. This is Nathaniel's crest.
Bucks,. a wolf's head erased, ar. pl. 12, n 2
, Wore, a demi-griffin segreant, or. pl. 25, n 33
Wilts, a wolf's head couped, ar., collared, or., pl. 13, n 17
-- Middx., two keys in saltier, or, interwoven with a chaplet, ppr. pl. 88, n. 12
, Salop and Wilts., an ermine passant, ppr., (collared, or, lined and ringed, gu.) pl. 34, n. 27.
--Staff., a demi-griffin segreant, erased, ar.pl 26, n. 10.
, Kent and Lond, a falcon, wings extended, or, pl. 68, n. 24.
LOWE, (several counties,) an ermine, ppr. colared, (ringed, and lined, gu) pl. 34, n. 27.
Derb. and Middx, a wolf passant, ppr pl. 13, n 9, and antoher, ar. ib. --, a wolf passant, ar., collared and chained, gu., the chain reflexed over the back, pl 13, n 7
LowE, a wolf's ehad couped, ppr. collared and ringed, or. pl. 13, n 17.
This history from one of the online coat of arms factories may actually be relevant to the history of Nathaniel Lowe's crest."The surname of LOWE was derived from the Anglo-Saxon word HLAW - the dweller at the low, the hill. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village in early times, has served to name many families. Early records of the name mention Ralph de la Lowe of the County of Northumberland in 1273. Hugh de la Lowe was recorded in County Lancashire in the same year. Crist atte Lowe of Yorkshire was mentioned in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Thomas del Lowe of East Cheshire was documented in the year of 1430. Thomas Lowe, ibid in 1448. There was also a place so called in Scotland, from which the name was derived. The earliest there on record is Nicholas Loue, in 1331. William Low was a tenant of Welton of Balbrogi in 1473, and John Lowe and Richard Low were witnesses in Brechin in 1586. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. This well known English name is quite numerous in Dublin and Ulster, where it was taken by settlers. The name in Irish is MacLughadha.
The Harleian Society pedigree says that the person to whom the coat of arms was "confirmed" and the crest granted, was from Lancashire.
The use of "de Lowe", "De la lowe" and "atte lowe" sound like geographic references and are identical to those used by the Worcestershire Lowe's including those who attained the rank of gentry and a coat of arms. Sounds like another Saxon usage.
Burke, General Armory of England and Scotland. Online at Google Books.
Lowe, (Lowe, co Worcester; Thomas Lowe, Esq., of Lowe, was chief of his family temp. Queen Elizabeth) Or, on a bend cotised sa. three wolves' heads erased of the field. Crest - A demi griffin ramp. or. Motto - Spero Mellora.
Lowe (Bromsgrove, co Worcester; Vry Rev. Thomas Hill ---? Furte Lowe, Dean of Exeter, descended from Lowe, of Lowe. Same arms, Crest, and Motto, quartering Furte.
Lowe (Highfield, co Nottingham; a branch of Lowe, of La Lowe, co Chester, formerly seated at the Hulse, in that co., now repesented by ... whose great-grandfather, Joseph Lowe, Esq., of Highfield, m Sarah, daug and heir of James Hurst, Esq., of Hurst, co Lancaster, by Elizabeth, his wife, sister and co-heir of Joseph Wilson, Esq. of Bivington Hall, and heiress, through her mother, Margaret, of Benjamin Smith, of Ashton, temp. Charles I). Ar. on a bend engr. six (?) ax? three wolves' heads' erased of the first, witihn a bordure also engr. of the second. Crest - A wolf pass. ar. collared and chained gu. reflexed over teh back. Motto - unreadable, but not Spero Melliora.
Lowe (Southam-- co Bedford; Her. Off.) Ar. on a bend ax? az? three wolves' heads erased of the field. Crest - ut of a mural crown gu a wolf's head ar. transfixed with a spear or, armed of the second.
Lowe (Clifton-Reynes, co Bucks) Same Arms. Crest - a Wolf's head erased ar.
Lowe (co Derby) Gu. a hart trippant ar. Crest - aA wolf pass. ar.
Lowe (Walden, co Essex; descended from Lowe Co. Worcester) Gu. Two wolves pass. ar. Crest - an erminge ppr. collared, ringed, and lined gu. Another crest - a wolf's head couped ppr collared and ringed or.
Lowe (Bromley, co Kent; and Lord Mayor of London 1_04). Erm. on a bend engr ax. (another, sa.) three cinquefoils or. Crest A falcon with winges expanded or.
Lowe (co Stafford; granted by Cooke,Clarencceaux, 1592. Ar. on a bend cotised au three lions' heads erased of the field. Crest - A demi-griffin segreant erased ar. (This is the early version of the Worcestershire coat of arms)
Lowe (Shrewbury, co Salop, and Calne, on Wlts) Gu. a wolf pass. ar. Crest - an ermine pass. ppr. collared or, lined and ringed gu.
Lowe (Westminster, granted 1694?) Quarterly, erm. and or, over all an eagle displ. with two heads vert. Crest - Two keys in saltire or, interlaced with a chpalet ppr.
Lowe (New Sarum, co Wilts) Gu. on a wolf preyant ar. Crest - A wolf's head couped ar. collared or.
Lowe (co Worcester) Erm. on a bend az. three ciquefoils or.
Lowe (Denby and Locke, co Derby, originally from co Chester; descended from the marriage, temp Henry VI, of Lawrence Lwoe, Serjeant-at-law, with the heiress of Rosell, of Debny. ...Az, a ahrt trippant ar. Crest - A wolf pass. ar. The Arms of Dury, borne quarterly, are - Ar. on a chief vert two mullets or, each charged with an annulet az. Crest of Dury - A greyhound courant az? gorged with a plain collar or, and charged with two mullets of the last.
Lowe (Alderwasley), co Derby; a younger branch of Lowe, of Denby, descended from Thomas Lowe, who m temp Henry VII, the heiress of Fowne, of Alderasley. The heriess of Lowe, of Alderasley, m Hurt.) Same Arms and Crest.
Cowe (Court of Hill, co Salop). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. on a bend sinister cotised az three wolves' heads erased of the field, for Lowe, of Bromsgrove; 2nd and 3rd, erm. on a fesse az. a castle triple-towered ar., for Hill, of Court of Hill. Crest - A demi griffin ramp. or. Motto - Spero Meliora.
Lowe. Gu. a fesse erm. between two wolves pass. ar.
Lowe. Ar. on a bend engr. az. there wolves' heads erased of the first, a bordure also engr. of the second.
Lowe (Stopford or Stockport, co Chester; quartered by Starkey). Gu. a wolf pass. ar. on a bend sa. three wolves' heads erased of the first.
Lowe, alias Fifield....
Lowe (George Lowe, Registrar of the Prerogative Court, Ireland; Fun. Est. Ulster's Office, of his wife, d. 14 Nov 1623). Ar. on a bend az. three griffins' heads erased of the field, an annulet for diff.
I think that is this one.
Gules, a wolf passant argent--LOWE, co. Wilts.
Sire Johan LE LOW, de argent a ij barres de goules, en le chef iij testes de lou de goules--Roll, temp. ED. II.
Sire William VIDELOU, de argent a iij testes de lou de goules--Ibid.
Gules, three wolf's heads couped or--LOCARD, Ireland.
Argent, three wolves passant sable--LOVATT, co. Stafford.
Argent, a chevron between three wolf's heads erased gules--LOVELL, Norfolk.
On a bend three wolf's heads erased--John LOWE, Bp. of S.Asaph, 1433, afterwards of Rochester, 1444-67.
Sable, a wolf salient, and in chief three estoiles or--Thomas WILSON, Bp. of Sodor and Man, 1697-1755.
Azure, a wolf rampant argent collared and chained or; in chief three crosses patty fitchy of the second--BUSHE, co. Wilts.
Gules, a chevron ermine between three wolves, the two in chief combatant or--GRENFORD.
Azure, a war-wolf passant and three stars in chief argent--DICKISON, Scotland.
Gules, a demi-wolf proper issuing to the sinister, feet erected each side of the head argent--BETWILL.
D'argent, à deux loups de sable, l'un sur l'autre[=in pale]; et une bordure denchée de gueules--DE SALVE, Provence.
The crest of a wolf has been granted to valiant captains who served loyally through long sieges or hard enterprises. It signifies valor and guardianship. Wolves were viewed as ferocious and merciless and it was thought that they could paralyze their enemies with a look before destroying them. The bearer of this symbol was one who was dangerous to assail or thwart and a deadly enemy to have.
The head of a wolf is particularly common in Scottish heraldry.
Or, a mural crown gules, between two barrulets azure and three wolf's heads erased sable--SEALE.
Erminois, on a pile embattled azure a mural crown between two caltraps in pale or--WALKER, Herts.
Argent, three griffins passant in pale azure murally gorged of the first, within a bordure sable bezanty--WILLS.
Gules, three mural coronets argent masoned sable--JOURDAN.
Or, a crown vallery gules between three stags trippant proper--ROGERS, Denbigh.
. A small crown, or a crown borne by those who are not sovereigns; but generally synonymous with Crown, q.v.
Le counte CHAUMPAINE, dazur a une bende dargent a custeres dor diasprez--Roll, temp. HEN. III.
Humphry de BOUN, d'azur ung bend d'argent entre six leonceux d'or cotisee d'or[ove ung labell de goules]--Ibid.
Le counte de HERFORD, dazur a sis Liuncels dor a un bende dargent lyte[i.e. with listes] dor--Another Roll, temp. HEN. III.
elts] palewise, in fesse, argent, the buckles erect in chief or--PELHAM.
Bend, (fr. bande): the bend dexter is perhaps one of the most frequently used of Ordinaries, q.v., being a straight piece extending from the dexter corner to the opposite edge of the shield. It is said to derive its origin from the belt, baudrick or baldrick(Baltheus, Cingulum militare), which was once a mark of knighthood; other heralds, however, have seen in it the idea of a scaling-ladder. According to Legh and other heraldic writers, the bend should occupy one-third of the field when charged, and one-fifth when plain. In English arms the bend is always placed straight athwart the shield, and never bowed as in foreign arms: at the same time, in some late MSS. it is fancifully drawn with a curve, in order to represent the convexity of the shield.
Argent, a bend sinister gules--BIZZET, Scotland.
Or, a bend sinister azure--TRYE[originally from France].
Argent, three bendlets engrailed sable; over all a scarpe gules--BLAGE, Kent.
According to Nisbet, bends sinister were formerly much borne in Scotland, but have generally been changed to dexter bends of late, from a mistaken notion that they always betokened illegitimacy. It is the sinister baton(or diminutive bend couped), which alone conveys this disgrace, In Germany the bend is borne almost as frequently sinister as dexter. (According to another web site, a bend sinister often really means illegitimacy but not always.)
Why'd a heraldic tiger look like a wolf?
The tiger signifies great fierceness and valor, and dangerous when enraged to
combat. It also symbolizes one whose resentment will be dangerous if
aroused. The tiger depicted in heraldry was the attempt of artists to
portray an animal they had never seen and knew only by repute.
Consequently, the heraldic tiger had the body of a wolf with a lion's tail
and a mane, powerful jaws, and a long, pointed snout. It was referred to
as a tyger to differentiate it from a regular tiger. A regular tiger was
referred to as a Bengal tiger.
Erased - (e-ras'd) A term applied to the head of an animal or other bearing having the appearance of being forcibly torn off, leaving jagged or uneven ends.
Erased is the opposite of couped, the latter meaning cut off even, straight.
In heraldry, erased describes something represented with jagged and uneven edges, as is if it has been torn off. The term is particularly used to describe the depiction of a head of a beast. If the charge is a small tree branch, appearing as though torn off, it is described as slipped, while a large tree branch depicted the same way is described as snagged.